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Your wedding is supposed to be the most important day in a your life, and
yet for many, just getting there in one piece is harder than fitting stilettos
on an elephant. Why is it so difficult? The biggest problem is stress and
how the interplay of all the different participants at your wedding adds
or subtract from that stress. Here are some wedding ideas to have a truly
successful and happy wedding.
Scientists use the term HOMEOSTASIS (homeo = the same; stasis = standing)
to define the physiological limits within which the body functions efficiently
and comfortably. Stress disturbs homeostasis by creating a state of imbalance.
The Lord knows how easily some people can cause us imbalance. Well, the secret
of all of this is that, if we know how difficult it is to change ourselves,
we must then take for granted that we are not going to be able to change
others, especially between now and the wedding date. So what can we do to
make or create STASISHOMEO "the ability to maintain the same mental condition
we enjoy now on the day of your wedding" (LOL)?
The all time stress-o-meter gives the following scores to different stress
events in our lives:
Event Stress Score
Death of spouse 100
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of a close relative 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage / partnership commitment 50
Loss of job 47
Illness in family 44
Sexual problems 39
Change in finances 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change of job 36
Taking out a mortgage or loan 31
Mortgage foreclosure 30
Increased responsibilities 29
Offspring leaves home 29
Fight with in-laws 29
I dont know girls, but I think that a fight with the boss rates right
up there with marriage.
The first thing we must do is to be able to recognize stress in others and
ourselves. Stress management involves four main tasks:
ü Recognize and understand the signs of stress.
ü Identify and understand the sources of stress.
ü Learn to manage controllable sources of stress.
ü Learn to support yourself and cope with stress reactions to situations
beyond your control.
Signs of Stress
Over-stress reactions include a wide range of symptoms: stomach aches, headaches,
sleep problems, poor concentration, moodiness, irritability, and racing thoughts.
It's important to recognize that these are all signs of stress overload,
probably not signs of a more serious condition.
Now that you know all this good stuff, does it help? No! We need some tools
and strategies to help you have a Successful Wedding.
1. A great stress reducer is getting in shape for the wedding.
Lets face it; you are going to have a second full time job. Planning
and organizing a wedding is a time-consuming and energy zapping experience,
not to mention the marathon parties, the family get togethers, and all that
glorious shopping. Dont forget, all the marathon parties, food, drinks,
cake, drinks, dinners. Did I mention drinks? This sends your body and nervous
system for a loop.
Whats the best thing to do? Go for a walk. Thats right, a nice
calm, stress relieving, pound reducing walk. Or if you are so inclined, go
to the gym and work out. Aspiring brides and grooms who want to get fit for
their perfect day are latching onto a fitness trend where gyms, personal
trainers and spas all promise weight loss, toning and a healthy glow in "bridal
boot camps." The more energy you use, the more stress you rid yourself of
(and it helps to tone your legs and build your cardiovascular system so that
you can dance all night long at your reception!)
It is also very important to be eating right and taking time to rest both
of which can vastly improve energy levels. Start drinking more water instead
of caffeine and sugar-loaded liquids. Reduce salt intake. Caffeine, sugar
and salt, cause chemical reactions to your nervous system by making you jumpy,
nervous and high-strung, so make sure you watch your consumption of these
items. Salt, or sodium, also helps your body retain water, causing that bloating,
2. Secondly, couples have to realize they shouldn't expect "perfection".
Expect a "terrific" day and set reasonable expectations.
This actually is considered the number one stress factor desperately
seeking perfection. You must remember what your main goal is, and that is
to get married to the one you love the most in the entire world. Setting
expectations that are too high will create stress and lead to frustration,
and then more stress.
There will be stress, you can count on it. Why? Because there are not only
a lot of decisions to be made but also many details to be worked out, and
others may want, or try to influence you. Such pressure is not bad or wrong;
it just requires that you and your fiancé be aware of what is really
happening. Try to respond to issues and avoid reacting to things. It will
make a big difference.
Remember, things will go wrong; you are dealing with people and lots of
variables. Dont sweat the small stuff; the key is that if something
does go wrong only you will know about it. The best way to make sure that
things dont go wrong is to plan carefully, track faithfully, and confirm
*The week before the wedding call all your vendors and check the date, time
and location with them to verify the correct details. Give a list of their
phone numbers to someone in case any of them don't show up on the day.*
3. Picture your wedding the way you want it, visualize all of your details
clearly in your mind, and stay focused on what you want.
Couples are constantly re-defining weddings. They seem to place more importance
on their wedding being a celebration of individual love than on fussiness,
formalities or old-fashioned, outdated etiquette. They are celebrating who
they are, right now.
Remember, if you fail to dream, you will live your nightmare, so figure out
what it is you want and go for it. With this mental image, you can list down
all the details, and one by one, when you have either completed them or delegated
them to someone you trust to make sure that they get done the way you want
them to be done, you can check them off. Having this list is a huge stress
buster and it helps you sleep at night. Another secret for a good nights
sleep is to have a notebook beside your bed, and every time you wake up thinking
that there is something you think you missed, write it down.
Often simplicity in a wedding ceremony is much more beautiful than having
too much. This helps keep stress levels down as well. You can also create
a great wedding website at www.22wed.com where you can keep everybody informed
about what is happening and that will help keep you focused.
4. Time is always another stressful factor.
Another great stress reducer and wedding success maker is time management.
Couples who begin planning early and pace themselves should be able to avoid
last minute chaos. The old saying, "An hour late and a dollar short" could
never be more applicable than for a wedding. Give yourself as much time as
possible to dream about your wedding, write down all your goals (things you
need to do), budget for each area, and give yourself time for a breather.
Below you will find a basic wedding planner with guidelines as to what you
might need to do and when it would be appropriate to get done.
Speaking of a breather, while planning your wedding you may have found that
it has essentially taken over your life. You need to reclaim your life, even
if it is only for a day or for a few hours, and take some time to yourself.
Make time to connect with your partner and spend positive time together.
What is it you used to do before all of this planning? Do you like to read?
Do you enjoy gardening? How about going for walks? Whatever it is that you
may have let slip or sacrificed for the greater good, you need to take that
time to yourself and your loved one and enjoy the relaxation that comes with
doing something that you enjoy.
Learning to delegate is vital, especially the day of the wedding. Put someone
else in charge of paying the vendors, moving the guest book from the ceremony
to the reception site, double-checking with the caterers, or any other small
task. Read through your list and assign everything! Hey, its your day
5. Relationships themselves, between the bride and groom, can be stressful
and can become even more stressful prior to the marriage.
Back on the stress-o-meter, we see that getting married in itself is a very
stressful change in a persons life. When we further add to that: late
nights, changes in eating habits, changes in drinking habits, fear of all
kinds (failure, things going wrong, anxiety attacks, tripping down the aisle,
etc), we see that things can get out of perspective with the one we love.
As the old song says, "You always hurt the one you Love", and there are other
relationships other than the one with your fiancé: those between
the bride and her family, her sisters, her bridesmaids, the groom and his
friends and family. The "relationships" I'm speaking of, are everywhere and
not limited to the relationship between the bride and groom.
Take some time to reconnect with your closest friends. Try not to talk too
much about your planning, but realize that it is a part of your life right
now and your friends probably are interested. However, they also want you
to be interested in their lives, so dont forget to ask them questions
and turn the attention towards them, too.
To get away from centering on ourselves, we need to do something for someone
else. You will be surprised how good (and relaxed) you will feel by making
someone else feel good. Cook a friend dinner, serve a meal at your local
soup kitchen, baby-sit for a couple who could use a break, take your niece
or nephew out for an ice cream cone...there are so many things you can do
for so many people - give it a try and see how good you feel!
Another really important aspect to remember is that there are always some
people (relatives or friends) who know how to "push your buttons". When you
are feeling very stressed be sure to stay away from or at least limit
your time with these people. I know its hard, but force yourself to
it will pay dividends in the long run.
Speaking about being hard JUST SAY NO! Now is not the time to be a
people-pleaser. There may be many people around you who want to have their
say about how your wedding should be arranged. Nevertheless, this is your
day, and while you will want to accommodate others' views, much stress can
be avoided if you start as you mean to go on, clearly asserting your wishes
and plans wherever possible, and not encouraging suggestions that you know
will eventually be turned down. Being honest is the best policy all round.
That point brings me to the topic of arguing. Where weddings are concerned,
the emotionally tense environment can lead people to make mountains out of
molehills. How spoons and forks are placed on tables may never have mattered
before, but they may become a hot topic of debate between parents and the
Try to avoid arguing over petty things. Remember that it's better to have
a simpler wedding and that in the end; it's not the minute details of your
wedding that will really make your marriage or your relationship with your
family members successful.
Finally, remember the intention behind the tension. Why is your mother insisting
you wear that horrid dress on your wedding day? Why is your father insisting
on getting to the hall on the day of the wedding by taking the most complicated
It's not because they're your worst enemies. Their reasons are that they
love you and want what's the best for you. Reminding yourself of the intention
behind the source of conflict will help you realize that while you are getting
stressed over the disagreements over certain issues pertaining to the wedding,
behind that disagreement there is love and concern. Your families, especially
your parents, want what's best for you and that concern is what is motivating
6. Money issues also frequently come up and create stressful situations.
Don't forget to budget! Since money is such an easy thing to fight about,
make sure you sit down at the beginning of the process, agree on how much
money you're going to spend, and stick to it! I know, I know, budget is as
close to a four-letter word as you can get, but it also can bring you closer
to those you love. If everyone is on the same page and in agreement, everything
will go much more smoothly.
Grooms might find themselves more concerned about, or "stressed out" about
money. Subconsciously, rightly or wrongly, men often will have the concept
that they will have to take care of the women, and that includes financially
taking care of them. Money and financial issues are almost always
stress-inducing, and it doesn't necessarily matter how much money someone
has! Whether you are a bride or a groom, a wedding is a time where all kinds
of stress can manifest itself. So do not dodge this bullet. Meet it head
on and openly discuss each and every detail of the wedding with those who
are financially responsible so that you can arrive at a consensus.
7. Venus and Mars Stress (taken from the pop-psychology of John Grey)
Are you and your fiancé arguing more than normal? Realize that this
friction is normal because you are spending more time on wedding planning
versus spending time on your relationship. Not always, but usually, guys
look at the big picture and gals look at specifics, so take this difference
into account when you are planning and expecting things from each other.
Naturally, we are going to approach things from different angles and
perspectives. Use this to your best advantage; work with your strengths and
try not to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Above all, brides and grooms need to respect each other and each other's
uniqueness. Individually, they should be aware of their thresholds for stress,
and how much stress they can handle in a given time period. Remember: words
said in explosive or high stress situations cannot be taken back once they
are said. If you're feeling stressed out...Stop, Relax, Listen, and Communicate
with each other. Look around you to see what is REALLY happening. Respond
to situations and issues and avoid knee-jerk reactions. That's why it is
so important to take time away from wedding planning and spend time with
each other. A romantic dinner, a bike ride -- whatever you both like to do
together. (Just don't discuss the wedding plans!)
Girls, if your guy is being rather quiet or distant, dont take this
personally. He is just crawling into his cave for a bit to get centered again
let him. Let him deal with whatever he needs to deal with and know
that he will eventually come out again for a breathe of fresh air, and he
will be his usual loving self again.
Guys, your beautiful bride-to-be is working overtime to make this a super
special day for the two of you. If you feel left out or that you are not
getting enough attention, dont mope or whine talk to her. Let
her know your feelings and ask if there is anything that you can do to help
her, and mean it. When her voice gets a little high-pitched or she becomes
short-tempered and shrill, just go with the flow this too will pass.
Give her a big hug and take her out for dinner and dancing, and she will
be back to her usual loving, caring, and considerate self in no time. Remember
the five most important words ever "What ever you want honey". Or the four
most important words, "I will do that." Or the three most important words,
" I Love you." Or the two most important words, " Yes dear." The most important
8. Many brides fear that they will forget something important.
One way to handle stress is to stay organized while planning. Writing everything
down in a special wedding notebook is a good idea. Take a few moments each
day, preferably at night before going to sleep, and do breathing exercises.
Then go over your list with your mate and see if there is anything that you
forgot. Check off things that are done, and then mentally redo the list as
if it has never been done at all to see if there was an item that you missed.
This is a great way to include your fiancé in the details so that
he will feel part of things.
9. Do a practice run
Go hear your intended DJ in action, or at least, get three recommendations
and talk to them about his/her work.
Why is music such an important part of a wedding? It creates an atmosphere
that fulfills the dreams of the bride, groom and their families. "Many brides
dream of the perfect wedding, and most 'hear' certain music in the background.
We help to create the desired atmosphere, while coordinating the event to
make sure it's a success, Because every wedding is unique, it's important
to select a DJ that has a good variety of music.
Have a meal where you intend to have your reception.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to create the affair of your dreams,
long after everything is said and done, people always remember the food.
It would be wise to go once or twice times to see if the quality is consistent
or, as previously mentioned, to talk to at least three other couples who
have had their reception at the same venue.
At least four to six months in advance, have your portraits taken by the
photographer who is going to photograph your wedding.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want
to remember it with all of its beauty. That being said, your portraits are
one of the very few things that will last forever. The relationship you have
with your photographer is critical: it is very hard to capture fabulous
photographs when you dont get along with the photographer or that his/her
style doesnt match yours. Make sure that you get together with the
photographer several time before the wedding and have a clear understanding
of what the expectations are. Create a list of all the photographs that are
really important to you. Create a list of all the people that you really
want to have a special portrait with because the photographer cant
read minds. The photographer hasnt a clue that Aunt Grisellda from
Upper Podunk is your favourite aunt. You need to let them know.
10. GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, COURAGE
TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN, AND WISDOM ALWAYS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE
In other words, Dont Worry Be Happy.
The biggest secret to a successful wedding is to not worry yourself to death,
enjoy the day, and enjoy the moment because it will not come again.
Think it through. Go ahead and fret a little. It's better than trying to
suppress all the anxiety. The more you try to suppress unwanted thoughts,
the more likely you are to become obsessed with them. That's particularly
true when you're under a lot of pressure, stress or mental overload. So just
when you're trying to avoid unhappy thoughts, you'll actually get sadder
than if you'd confront those unhappy thoughts head-on. Ninety-nine percent
of what we worry about never happens. Feel the fear, that's part of being
human. Regardless, go out and do things anyway, knowing that most of your
fears are unfounded.
Take your time. It's one thing to think about your problems. It's another
to let them dominate your thoughts. Dont let people pressure you into
making a decision you dont want to make. If there are things about
your wedding that are worrying you, focus on your worry for thirty minutes,
and try to think of solutions to the problem. Research on chronic worriers
shows that if they spend time at night actively worrying about their problems,
the degree of worrying in their lives goes down overall
Write a new ending. People who worry can be amazingly creative. They turn
any harmless scenario into a disaster by imagining the worst. Try putting
that creativity to good use by turning your fears into fantasies. If you
worry about tripping while you go down the aisle and falling into a candle
destroying your hair-do because the veil exploded in fire, try picturing
yourself being light as air and, to the amazement of all your guests, floating
down the aisle while a chorus of angels sings "You are the Wind Beneath My
Wings". (Hows that for "lightening up"!)
Tally your troubles. List all your worries. Are you afraid that it's going
to rain on the day of the wedding? You can't control the weather, so file
it under the heading "Beyond My Skills." Do you worry that other people find
you unattractive, even when you really know you're not? That goes on the
"Creative Fiction" list.
What's the sense of worrying about things in these categories? There isn't
any. Why worry about the weather? Why worry about things that aren't true?
Once you expose these thoughts as worthless worries, its easier to
Take action. Some worries are more legitimate. Are you concerned about your
health? Well, list all the things you could do to improve things. Maybe you
could start walking every day, or eat better. Then decide which items on
the list you're going to do. The secret is doing, doing, doing. When you're
actively working on a solution, worry is less likely to be a problem, and
you'll begin to feel as if you're the designer of your life, not a victim
Be a willing participant and creator of your wedding HAVE FUN!!! One
way to let all your friends and family enjoy the planning process is to have
a personal website that allows interaction and a diary up to and including
the wedding day. This idea is particularly useful if you have family or friends
who are out of town and cant attend the wedding. A great website to
check out would be
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